Business challenge

To drive retention in a fast-changing savings and investment market, Standard Life wanted to identify customers considering switching and reach out with tailored offers to nurture their loyalty.


Standard Life created a fully integrated marketing process—enabling it to use data from interactions across all channels to build a 360-degree view of individual customer preferences and propensities.



loyalty with personalized, one-to-one marketing


boost for inbound conversion in the contact center


risk of customer churn

Business challenge story

Adapting to a fast-changing industry

Government reforms are shaking up the UK savings and pensions market, and soon it will be faster and easier than ever for customers to switch providers. As changes such as the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), Automatic Enrollment, and Pension Freedom create opportunities for nimble new entrants to disrupt the industry, it has never been more important for established businesses to understand and meet their customers’ needs

At the same time, trends in the banking space indicate that customer expectations of financial services providers are increasingly influenced by online retail experiences. Customers want to access and update their information from any device and at any time, and to select tailored services that match their individual needs and preferences. And crucially, many are willing to switch providers in a heartbeat to get the level of service they expect.

To thrive in this competitive, fast-changing environment, Standard Life recognized that it was essential to gain deeper insight into individual customer preferences and deliver tailored services to nurture their loyalty.

Stephen Ingledew, Managing Director, Marketing at Standard Life, takes up the story: “Our purpose is to help our customers to fulfil their aspirations, and our vision is to be the first choice for their life savings and investments. Companies in our industry typically have fewer opportunities to interact with their customers than other financial services providers, and to achieve our vision it is vital that we get those interactions right every time.

“The digital channel is becoming a more important step in the transaction journey, and many of our customers visit us online or on mobile devices to research their options before reaching out to our contact center to speak with a member of our team.

“In the past, we had no way to bring together all of these customer interactions, which limited our ability to understand where customers were on their transaction journeys when we spoke with them—or to identify customers that might be considering transferring their savings to another provider. We knew that were missing out on valuable opportunities to engage with our customers, and we looked for a way to gain a 360-degree view of customer preferences and propensities across every channel.”

Knowing where each person is on their transaction journey creates opportunities to transform one-off engagements into life-long relationships.

Stephen Ingledew, Managing Director, Customer and Marketing, Standard Life

Transformation story

Driving closer customer engagement

Working together with experts from across its business, Standard Life mapped out its existing systems and processes for customer engagement, and determined the changes required to integrate its channels.

“We see that each customer interaction is an opportunity to prove that we understand their goals—and delivering consistent, relevant messages is key,” continues Stephen Ingledew. “Previously, we had no reliable way to link information on customer conversations over the phone or on social media with our platforms for digital marketing. As a result, there was always the risk that our communications on the outbound channel were based on out-of-date information, which could potentially weaken hard-won customer relationships.

“Today, we have integrated our channels from end to end—delivering a single, accurate view of every customer interaction. For example, if a customer speaks to one of our customer consultants about their options for pension consolidation, but wants a little more time to think the decision over, we can automatically assign a member of the team to reach out with a call a few days later to ask if there is anything we can do to help. If they do decide the product is right for them, we keep them updated every step of the way via their preferred contact method—ensuring a high-quality, seamless experience.”

Standard Life now creates fine-grained customer segments, and uses an intelligent campaign-development engine to build, deploy and measure personalized communications at enterprise speed and scale.

Stephen Ingledew adds: “Successful digital marketing depends on timing. Because we know the products that our customers are interested in and the stage of the journey they are on, we can ensure that we don’t overload them with marketing messages on the digital channel while they are thinking through their options.”

Using predictive analytics, Standard Life accurately determines which of its customers are most likely to switch their funds to another provider, and delivers timely offers to nurture their loyalty.

“Our attrition models are helping us to identify customers with a high propensity to switch, and to determine the next-best actions to improve their satisfaction,” comments Stephen Ingledew. “By delivering these insights to our customer consultants in the contact center, we can achieve our goal of making every interaction relevant, helpful and positive.

“In addition, our models are revealing affinities between products at a speed and scale that was previously out of our reach. By combining this data with insight into wider customer needs and aspirations, we can suggest additional services they might not otherwise have considered, and help customers to move closer to their goals.”

Results story

Personalized services nurture loyalty

With an integrated approach to customer engagement at the heart of its business, Standard Life can now place the customer at the center of every transaction.

“By breaking down the historical barriers between our channels, we are gaining an unprecedented view of every customer’s unique preferences,” explains Stephen Ingledew. “Our customer contact can be sporadic, and knowing exactly where each person is on their transaction journey creates valuable opportunities to transform one-off engagements into life-long relationships.”

He continues: “For example, we are now using analytics-driven product recommendations on our inbound contact center channel. Because the suggestions are targeted and relevant, we have seen an eight percent uplift in our conversion rates.

“Similarly, we are having great success in proactively reaching out to customers with a high probability of switching, and delivering tailored offers to nurture their loyalty and drive retention—both key capabilities to succeed in the UK’s highly competitive market.”

To meet customer expectations around always-on services, Standard Life delivers the information they need online, on mobile and via social channels.

“Our customers are increasingly choosing to manage their finances via mobile devices—and today, we can deliver the same high-quality experiences across every digital channel,” says Stephen Ingledew. “Customers can access their ‘My Life Savings’ portal online or on mobile, and see automated advice about any actions they need to take to maximize their investments.”

By adopting a data-driven strategy for customer engagement, Standard Life is strengthening its leading position in a highly competitive industry, and the company is already planning new ways to enhance its approach.

“Listening, learning and interacting are no longer confined to the focus group; real insight is built on leveraging structured and unstructured data that we can action, often in real-time,” concludes Stephen Ingledew. “Looking to the future, we see that cognitive computing will change how people and organizations engage with organizations and one another, and how knowledge is shared and leveraged.”


Standard Life

Founded in 1825 and headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, Standard Life is an investment company with more than 4.5 million customers in 46 countries. With GBP253 billion in assets under management, the company is listed in the 2015 Fortune Global 500 as one of the world's top 500 companies worldwide by revenue.

Solution Components

  • FSS: Insurance - Core Insurance - Life
  • FSS: Insurance - Front Office - Data & Analytics
  • FSS: Insurance - Front Office - Sales & Customer Service
  • Marketing Platforms: Campaign Management
  • SPSS Modeler

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